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Can Keeping a Hen Help You Live Longer?


Want to stay active, feel less lonely and generally be healthier?

Maybe it's time to get yourself a hen.

HenPower, an experimental project based in Gateshead, England, aims to get older residents of the community involved in hen keeping as a way to reduce their feelings of isolation and to enhance their health and well-being.

The "pensioners," as the Brits refer to retired folks, look after the hens, collecting their eggs and rearing their chicks; the handiest among them design and build the coops. Some of them visit schools and nursing homes (with their hens, of course), do photo shoots and keep diaries of their "road shows."

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It all seems to be working very well, judging from this touching video:


HenPower is now aiming to secure funding from BIG, which every year awards millions of pounds from England's National Lottery to good causes.

I'm all for Henpower. Several years ago, researchers found that patients recovering from joint-replacement surgery could cut their daily dose of pain medications in half simply by petting their dogs or cats. And even more to the point, one of the nursing homes in Gateshead that's welcomed the Henpower project already has reported a drop in the medication levels for its residents.

What's not to like?

Photo: Henpower

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